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AAP alleges "Money trail tracked to BJP account", challenges PM, ED to arrest BJP Chief

New Delhi: A day after a Delhi court sent Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to the custody of the Directorate of Enforcement, senior AAP leader and minister Atishi alleged that the money trail was found in the BJP's account and challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ED to 'arrest' BJP national president JP Nadda.

Addressing a press conference here, Atishi asserted that, till date, no money trail has been found connected to any AAP leader.

"In the so-called excise policy scam of Delhi, CBI and ED investigations have been going on for the past two years. In these two years, a question has come up again and again Where is the money trail? Where did the money go? No proceeds of crime were recovered from any leader, minister or worker of AAP," Atishi said.

She further said that Arvind Kejriwal was arrested on the basis of one person's (Sharad Chandra Reddy) word.

"Arvind Kejriwal was arrested in the same case two days back on the basis of the statement of just one person - Sharat Chandra Reddy. He is the owner of Aurobindo Pharma...He was summoned on 9th November 2022 for questioning. He clearly said that he never met or spoke with Arvind Kejriwal and has nothing to do with AAP. As soon as he said that, he was arrested the next day by the ED. After being in jail for several months, he changed his statement. He said that he met Arvind Kejriwal and spoke with him over the excise policy matter. He was granted bail as soon as he said that. But where is the money? Where is the money trail?" she stated.

Atishi further said that Sarath Chandra Reddy donated Rs 4.5 crore bonds to BJP adding that no illegal money was recovered during ED's raid at Delhi's CM residence.

"He (Sharat Chandra Reddy) gave electoral bonds worth Rs 4.5 crore to BJP. And then also gave bonds worth Rs 55 crores. Where is the money trail? Money trail money was found in BJP's account. I challenge Prime Minister Narendra ad ED, to arrest BJP national president JP Nadda," Atishi said.

Arvind Kejriwal was on Friday remanded to the custody of the Enforcement Directorate for seven days, i.e., till March 28, a day after he was arrested by the probe agency in connection with the Delhi Excise Policy case linked to a money laundering case.

Special CBI judge Kaveri Baweja of the Rouse Avenue Court passed the order after Kejriwal was produced on Friday following his arrest on Thursday night by the central probe agency.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities and money laundering in framing and implementing the Delhi excise policy case 2022, which was later scrapped.

In its arguments before the court, the ED alleged that the CM of Delhi is the key conspirator and kingpin in demanding kickbacks from businessmen. The agency further claimed that Kejriwal was directly involved in the formation of the Excise policy. The ED counsel claimed that Vijay Nair, who was the media in charge of AAP, was working for Delhi CM Kejriwal.

Nair, who the agency said lives adjacent to the residence of Kejriwal, acted as a middleman between the AAP and the South group. The ED further claimed that the proceeds of crime are not only Rs 100 crore but profits made by bribe givers were also proceeds of crime. The agency alleged that it had traced Hawala trails of Rs 45 crore that was used in the Goa Election.

The arrest by the central agency has drawn severe criticism for the BJP-led centre from the opposition leaders.

The AAP will "gherao" the prime minister's residence on March 26 to register its protest against Kejriwal's arrest by the ED, the party's leader Gopal Rai said on Friday.

Two senior AAP leaders, Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh, are in judicial custody in the excise policy case. Sisodia, who was the then Delhi Deputy Chief Minister, was arrested by the CBI on February 26 following several rounds of questioning. On October 5, ED arrested Sanjay Singh, who is a Rajya Sabha member.

Kejriwal's arrest came days after the ED arrested Bharat Rashta Samithi (BRS) leader and daughter of former Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao K Kavitha, in connection with its investigation into money laundering charges linked to the now-scrapped excise policy. Kavitha is in ED custody till March 23. 

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